Why Take the SAT?

Most colleges—including those that are test optional—still accept SAT test scores. Together with high school grades, the SAT can show your potential to succeed in college or career.

Stand Out on College Applications

Use Your Scores to Your Advantage

Taking the SAT is strong evidence that you're ready for college and have what colleges are looking for. Plus, you can choose to only send your best scores to colleges.

The PSAT/NMSQT Prepared You for This

If you took the PSAT/NMSQT you're already familiar with—and prepared for—the SAT. Historically, students who took the PSAT/NMSQT score higher on the SAT, on average, than those who didn't.

Considering Taking the ACT Instead?

Colleges actually don't have a preference for which one you should take. As a matter of fact, the SAT may be your best test to take.

What Is a Test-Optional College?

Learn more about how colleges have introduced more flexibility and choice in their admissions process.

Here's Why the SAT May Be Your Best Test

The SAT will be digital everywhere, starting in 2024. You'll be able to take it on a device you're familiar with. If you're deciding between the SAT and the ACT®, see how they compare.

Digital SAT vs. ACT

  Digital SAT ACT*
Widely accepted at U.S. colleges
Built-in graphing calculator
No penalty for guessing
Free best-in-class practice and prep
Fee waivers for eligible students
Free score reports
Measures what you learn in high school
Measures what you need for college and career success
Connects to college and career planning tools
Connects to scholarships
Testing time 2 hours and 14 minutes 2 hours and 55 minutes
Time per question 1 minute and 22 seconds 49 seconds
*Based on publicly released ACT information.

What's Different About the Digital SAT

The digital SAT is easier to take:

Nearly an hour shorter

More time per question

Built-in graphing calculator

Shorter reading passages

When Should You Take the SAT?

Most students take the SAT for the first time in the spring of junior year and again in the fall before college application deadlines.

Plan for Life After High School

With BigFuture, you can go deeper into planning for life after high school. Explore careers, plan for college, and pay for college. You'll also find free actionable tools that are easy to navigate, and personalized pathways that make planning relevant.

Endorsed, Free Official Digital SAT Prep

The best way to practice for the SAT is free and personalized to you. The first step is to set your own target score.